30 Nov Four lessons in IT disaster recovery planning from an FAA outage
What can CIOs learn about IT disaster recovery planning from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) recent computer problems, which caused flight delays and cancellations at airports across the country? Plenty, say disaster recovery experts.
“Here we have a system that is vital to the flow of air traffic in the United States. It is hard to imagine how many dollars are riding on people getting to their destinations on time,” said Gene Ruth, who covers disaster recovery (DR) at Midvale, Utah-based Burton Group Inc. “You have a failure in the network and there is no ability to [set] up a disaster recovery site immediately? That is completely unacceptable.”
The root cause of the FAA outage, which lasted nearly five hours, was reportedly the failure of a circuit board inside a router at the FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) facility in Salt Lake City. Details on why the backup router did not engage are still unavailable. The failure brought down a flight management system, forcing air traffic controllers to rely on faxes and emails to communicate flight plans.
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